Karin Ruggaber exhibits relief 58 at the group exhibition:
Rob Tufnell presents an exhibition, curated with Michelle Cotton, of sculpture, print, film, video, objects and ephemera dating from 1913 to the present day.
‘Savage Messiah’ is premised by a series of accounts of the life of artist Henri Gaudier-Brzeska (1891 – 1915) and takes its title from two of these: a 1931 book of personal correspondence between the artist and Sophie Brzeska edited by H.S. Ede and, more significantly, the 1972 biopic directed by Ken Russell. The screenplay of Russell’s film was written by the poet Christopher Logue and was art directed by Derek Jarman who was assisted on property and sets by a number of artists including Bill Woodrow. These treatments of Gaudier Brzeska’s life characterise him as a self-styled mouthpiece for ‘Vorticism’ (or ‘English Cubism’) with its apparently incongruous influences from ‘primitive’ art and modern technology.
The exhibition, bringing together art and literature made on the eve of the First World War and from more
recent years, can be seen to collapse conventional art histories (that look back to a Classical tradition) to instead look simultaneously onto understandings of the prehistoric and postmodern to explore a timeless engagement with what Ezra Pound termed the VORTEX.